Helena-- Montana passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, SB 399, to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. Montana’s ABLE bill now heads to Governor Steve Bullock for his signature.
ABLE programs are managed on the state level and require state implementation and SB 399 was sponsored by Representative Fred Thomas.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Representative Fred Thomas and the tireless efforts of grassroots advocates to help make ABLE a reality for Montana,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “We are hopeful that Governor Bullock will move swiftly to enact ABLE and that Montana families will soon have the opportunity to invest in the future of their loved ones with disabilities.”
The federal ABLE Act enacted in December of 2014 amended federal law to disregard ABLE account funds for means-tested federal programs such as SSI and Medicaid, which cap (usually at $2,000) the amount an individual with a disability may save.
If signed, Montana would join a quickly expanding list of states to enact ABLE legislation which includes Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. ABLE legislation is currently pending in Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana (to amend existing law), Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont. Washington has passed a similar ABLE program and is currently awaiting signature from the governor.
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